Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Need Your Help Naming Names

Can I honor you or somebody you know when I race Ironman Florida? Please read on...

It was the morning of October 23, 2004 when I took my first steps to fight blood cancer. A five mile run in the early morning darkness. Although I had run this route through the Dallas suburban streets many times, this morning it felt new because on my wrist was a purple band. Etched into the inside was a single name; Sydney. She was six years old and recently diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. This was the first day I ran with the purple wrist band and the first day Sydney was with me in spirit. Undeniably, there was a spring in my step. The training finally had a name along with a purpose.

The wrist band was on my arm when I tackled -- or more correctly was tackled by -- the St. Croix Ironman 70.3 last year. I dedicated the race to her.

When I returned to St. Croix this year to exact some revenge on the course that nearly sent me to the hospital the year before I carried with me an additional name; that of my uncle Robert Brennan. He was diagnosed with leukemia the day after Christmas. Uncle Bob is still with us today but the scales of survival are steadily tipping away from his favor. I may not be able to say as much for him for many more days.

Since that October 2004 morning I have met other brave souls just diagnosed and survivors of blood cancers. I have also had to say goodbye to some of them when they were robbed from us by the diseases. For them, five weeks ago, I dedicated the Big Kahuna Half Ironman to by carrying their names on a note card for the entire race.

This evening, as I write this, it is less than a month from my first Ironman and I am asking you for help. Will you give me permission to race in honor of the people you know touched by cancer in Ironman Florida? Here's my request: provide to me the names of those you know who are fighting cancer, any form of cancer, or has lost their struggle. I will carry the names with me for the entire 140.6 miles of Ironman Florida on November 4. It is for them, for their honor or their memory, that I will toe the starting line.

Please leave a comment with the name or names, if they are alive or passed, and if you wish, tell me something special about them. Or, if you'd rather, email me at TriBoomer@comcast.net All names and information emailed to me will be held in confidence.

Racing in the two half-Ironman and one full Ironman triathlons this year has never been about me. It's about fighting cancer and helping the people it's touching.

BoomerNation, allow me this honor and privilege to race for the people you know. By doing this, a part of you will be with me for every stroke, turn of the crank, and stride of Ironman Florida.

These names will define why I train for Ironman.

Oh, and the purple band with Sydney's name? I wore it today, like I do every day. As for Sydney? She's in remission.

Stay tuned...

27 comments:

Running Rabbit said...

You, darling...are an inspiration. :-)

Iron Pol said...

I ran the 2005 Chicago Marathon for Shelly, The Accidental Runner, who survived one bout with cervical cancer and was later diagnosed with a return and fights it to this day. She has been fighting a losing battle and is making changes to her battle plan.

She has two young boys and lives in Virginia. I carry her picture with me through every race I run.

TriBoomer said...

Iron Pol...

You're a good man for supporting her in that way. Her name will be with me in Fla.

Stay tuned...

Geo said...

TriBoomer, I stumbled upon your blog and you are a true inspiration! I wish you the very best in your upcoming events. i would love to give you names but there are so many. I work in a children's hospital see kids fighting cancers. If you would add "The kids at Arkansas Children's Hospital Cancer Center" to your list that would be awesome!
All the best!
Geo.

TriBoomer said...

Geo,

Consider it done.

Please send to me your name and work mailing address. I'd like to send the kids something after the race. You can email me at TriBoomer@comcast.net

Stay tuned...

Vickie said...

Yes, for Richard, my dad, who is now showing more signs of his lymphoma that had been in remission for only a year. He is almost 77 years old and has a lot of other ailments as well, but this may be the one that gets to him the most. Thanks.

Bolder said...

race for those, like my late wife Maureen, who lost a courageous battle to breast cancer.

she would have been at the finish line waiting for us, for as long as it takes...

join me racing on November 4th for those that no longer can, and have asked us, to make the most of the fact that we CAN.

TriBoomer said...

Vickie, consider it done. Richard will be with me on November 4.

Stay tuned...

TriBoomer said...

Bolder, very well put.

We'll be there at the finish line celebration together. What a cool way to honor Maureen!

Stay tuned...

Jessica said...

Can you add my friend Christina, who is 29 and was just diagnosed with breast cancer, to your list?

Thank you so so much.

TriBoomer said...

Jessica,

You got it! Please tell Christina she'll be in my thoughts.

Stay tuned...

Elizabeth said...

'Boomer,
Please add my aunt Betty to your amazing list of names. She was a wonderful woman who remains, in spirit, with me today but lost her battle with breast cancer years ago.

Thank you for being an inspiration to us all. You're amazing!

neese said...

could you please add Laura, my sister who lost her battle with brain cancer at the age of 31 in 2000. she would think what you are doing is so sweet, as do i.

TriBoomer said...

Elizabeth and Neese,

They are on this list.

Thanks for the encouraging words. It's the people on the list that inspire me.

Stay tuned...

greyhound said...

Ravi Sandill, diagnosed with lymphoma right before he married one of the associates at my firm, and currently a member of my gym in full robust health. $140.60 coming your way in his honor.

Jeremy said...

Boomer,
This is such a noble effort and a great inspiration. You may be interested in my story as well. Check my post from 9/28/06 if you have a free minute. I would be honored for you to add my mom's name to your list.

TriBoomer said...

Everyone who reads this comment please do a good thing and read Jeremy's September 28, 2006 post at

http://jeremylisnoff.blogspot.com

Jeremy, you bet! Your mom is on the list.

Andy said...

My brother Ryan didn't have blood cancer but he did have Retnial Blostoma when he was 2. retnial Blostoma is cancer of the retnia. He had his left eye removed, and the socket reconstructed from rib bones and stomach muscle. I have a friend from college who has lukemia - John Davis of Nashville Tenn.

Pixie said...

People like you are what makes this sport so beautiful. :)

Pixie said...

I hit publish too soon! :) Please add my mother, Alice, to your list. She battled both breast and colon cancer before she was 50. I am happy to say she is still with us!

TriBoomer said...

Andy,

I'm pleased to know your brother, Ryan, is a survivor. He and your friend, John Davis, will have their names with me for 140.6 miles. Best wishes to the three of you.

Stay tuned...

TriBoomer said...

Hey Pixie!

You got it girlie. Tell your mom she's going to help get me across the finish line!

Stay tuned...

berd said...

you are awesome! would you add Gina, my mother mother who, as a teenager, lost her leg to bone cancer but has never missed a step. she is the strongest person i know. also Frank, my godfather and my dad's best friend, who lost the battle to lung cancer at age 45. thank you.

TriBoomer said...

Berd,

I'm happy to race in honor of your mom and your godfather. Thank you for sharing a little bit about them and inspiring me.

shannon said...

Please add Paula Boyer. She is my mom and is an amazing woman. She has stage 4 breast and bone (spine) cancer. Diagnosed in Feb '06 and still fighting...

TriBoomer said...

Shannon,

Yes, Paula Boyer is an amazing woman. Thank you for letting me take her on the race with me.

21st Century Mom said...

I have 3 names for you:

Charles Reinke, my dear friend who succumbed to leukemia

Mike DaSa, our school superintendent who succumbed to colon cancer

Cynthia Castelli, my Mom who succumbed to sarcoma.

Thanks for taking all of these names with you. When it starts to hurt may they give you strength.